Diaphragmatic breathing improves mental well-being and blood sugar in diabetics: Study
Uttarakhand, India: A recent study has found that the addition of systematic relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing to conventional type 2 diabetes (T2D) treatment improved mental well-being and blood sugar control in T2D. The study findings appear in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is not able to efficiently utilize insulin hormone. Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of breathing exercise that helps in strengthening the diaphragm, an important muscle that helps in breathing, and is said to have many health benefits.
In the prospective study, Abhishek Yadav, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India, and colleagues assessed the effects of systematic relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing on anxiety, depression, and stress levels, as well as glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.
The study included 100 patients with type 2 diabetes. They were randomly assigned to two equal groups -- Group A patients received conventional treatment for T2DM, and Group B patients received conventional treatment for T2DM plus training in diaphragmatic breathing and systematic relaxation and home practice of these stress-management techniques for 6 months. Depression, anxiety, and stress levels, blood sugar, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were recorded at baseline and after 6 months of treatment in all patients.
The study yielded the following findings:
- Changes in mental well-being and glycemic status were assessed for their significance in each group using student's t test and compared between two groups using one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
- Baseline levels of the respective change outcome and duration of diabetes were used as covariates in the ANCOVA.
- A significant decrease was seen in depression, anxiety, and stress scores in Group B, but in Group A only the stress score decreased after 6 months.
- A significant decline occurred in blood sugar (fasting, 2-hour postprandial, and random) and HbA1c in both groups after 6 months.
- There was a larger decrease in depression and anxiety scores and HbA1c in Group B than in Group A.
- The decrease in HbA1c was significantly correlated with the decrease in anxiety and stress scores in both groups and with the depression score in Group A.
"Our findings inferred that the addition of diaphragmatic breathing and systematic relaxation to conventional T2D treatment appears to have led to improvement in mental well-being and glycemic control in patients with T2D," concluded the authors.
The study titled, "Effects of Diaphragmatic Breathing and Systematic Relaxation on Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus," is published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy.